Friday, May 30, 2014

Day 54-Bye Damascus; Hello Creep

So I didn't lie; it was my last time waking up in my Victorian room, this morning I woke up in a different one! My knees cramped up a lot on the little Victorian sofa but bless Linda's heart for letting me stay another night on those circumstances! By the way, the bed set in this room was gorgeous! I set my alarm for 6:45 (YUCK!) and was all packed up and ready for the morning, as I quietly tried to come down the squeaky wooden steps Linda met me at the bottom; "trying to sneak out are you?" Caught me! She insisted on breakfast so I agreed on something quick, fruit I thought. Anything else, she asked? "Well...I mean..." You mean what, what would you like? A slice of toast if it isn't any trouble? Sure she replied-jelly? Yes please! And poured me some orange juice as well. I wrapped my shin with the ace wrap I used in the early days for my knee to see if the compression helped; I said my farewells and headed out one last time into the town of Damascus (for this year at least!) stumbling on Orchard Hill Rd made me think of home, when I lived on Orchard Hill Dr-close enough! And continued on to the Creeper Trail. I decided to walk the Creeper trail since it met up with the AT at 2 other locations down the line; and it would be easier on my recovering shin. At first the trail went along side the road and some houses and I was a little skeptical whether this could be right. The creeper trail is a rails to trails bike path so it only has about a 30% elevation grade, is small loose gravel, and is about 30+ miles long from start to finish. Once I reached the first AT crossing; I sat on the bench, threw away my trash, and ate my lunch. Well this was nice! The Appalachian Trail should have some of these amenities! After deciding to continue on the Creeper Trail, I came across all of these wooden bridges numbered: 16, then 17, and so on-these couldn't be mile markers could they?! And then when one was right after another I learned, no-not mile markers! Walking the creeper trail was gorgeous, it ran parallel with the river, so much green, and rock wall waterfalls-reminded me of biking the rails to trails at home. After walking rather slow, and I mean SLOW for a long time, I caught a glimpse of Johnny Walker and Barticus in the river! No way, so I went over and chatted (my feet could use the break.) They had been just camping on the creeper living it up, and had fishing poles. Seems like a good time to me! They asked if I was going to stop at the cafe, WAIT-there's a cafe near?! Ok this Creeper Trail is getting better and better! We walked to the Creeper Cafe (what I mean by we, is I headed out first-the guys passed me, and waited for me at the bridge to the cafe haha) right off the bike path is a small restaurant with burgers and I've cream and such (my mom cringes when I say and such so I had to, and acknowledge it haha.) I ordered a cookie dough milkshake and a hot ham and cheese sandwich. Johnny Walker ordered before me two chili cheese dogs, and Barticus a couple people after me a BLT. My order was called, Barticus's order was called. No food for Johnny. After waiting number after number he went up and it seems like they made a mistake and made chili cheese fries and then threw them out once they realized and then forgot about him. It started to rain so we sat on the outdoor porch to wait it out-maybe 45min-an hour and talked, took photos, and touched up nails-you can see Johnny blowing on his below! After the skies cleared the boys decided to fish some more, as much as I would have loved to lounge around and be a catfish I decided to walk on. I walked alone through a residential field and it was so pretty. You can see below the type of house I would love to own one day! It was just by itself, with rolling hills, a giant front porch-so inviting. Until I came across the abandoned ice cream castle...yup, like you would see at a county fair-interesting. The creeper trail came to an end for me when I got to the last very long bridge before heading back on the AT. Again, walking baby steps down the trail I wanted to find a cool camp spot by the river on the AT but with making some miles as well. Seems like all the cool spots were right away and I pushed on-I stopped at a spot to get water and see if I could makeshift a stealth spot but I really couldn't. Weather came up and introduced himself and asked me a few of the normal questions:
Yes, that's the plan
Cheeky Chi
April 7th
Not sure yet
(Are you thru hiking? What's your trail name? When did you start? Where are you from? How old are you? Where are you headed tonight?)
And off he went. I decided to just push to the shelter when I realized I was walking on a narrow path that was accommodating any stealth campsites. When I strolled into camp I went up to the shelter and saw Dexter! Hey what a cool surprise! I set up my tent, got my dinner ready, took off my shoes and wrap around my shin and noticed a golf ball was lodged under my skin on my right ankle. This instantly scared me, I looked again, touched it, rubbed it, moved it. Nothing hurt or was sore, but man it was swollen! I hung my food bag, and got back into my tent-no socializing tonight, this needed to be elevated. I took one Advil to help the swelling go down, ate half of my dinner and rubbed the cream my mom sent me on my ankle, shin, and feet and called it a night-planning to try to keep it elevated on my pack for the duration of the night.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Day 53-I Feel Like I Am Leaving Grandmas

So this was my last time waking up in my Victorian room, I went down for breakfast and had the same as the first morning; scrambled eggs with cheese, a waffle, and fresh fruit. Linda told me that I have been great, like having her granddaughter here that I could just hang out in the room until my second package came from my mom; and then the phone rang. Seems the guests that were supposed to arrive Saturday were looking to come today...looks like I've got to be out of the room by 11:00 (checkout) but she did say I could hang around downstairs or on the front porch. Works for me! I went upstairs to take a bath to let the heat relax my muscles one last time, then showered. I gathered all of my things together in the room and packed my bag. I decided to weigh myself, and weigh my pack-seems I am still around 110lbs and my pack weighs in at around 40lbs that can't be right! I have a bunch of food, tortillas, wipes, and such that is heavy but each day will weigh less so that is always a plus. I'd love to get my pack down to 20-25 lbs that would be a lot more forgiving on my body. I swapped out all of my cold weather clothes and will be sending those home (minus my down jacket just in case), as well as my colder bag for a lighter one for the summer. I did opt to keep my liner as of now which is a little bulky and heavier than my sleeping bag but it is nice to feel that against my skin rather than the sticky sleeping bag material. I also like to use it as a laundry bag in town to carry all of my clothes-we will see! I am sending back both Nalgene bottles since I picked up a Nalgene bag (a little lighter, and still the same nalgene top which screws nicely into my MSR pump filter.) Now I am just sitting on the front porch with my leg elevated and an ice pack on my right shin. Hoping my package doesn't come too late so I can take my time with the miles-either way I gotta take my time, the first shelter is 9 miles out of town I believe so I will either camp there, or a little before or a little after with my tent. We will see! I talked with Lynn this morning, she stayed at Roan Mtn. shelter last night so I really hope we cross paths again, Big Dave stayed in Hampton so he won't get to Damascus until Saturday and Wild Child is helping out at Kincora. It's pretty hot and humid today, calling for thunderstorms later on (basically when I will be heading out-can't win haha) Linda came out to compliment me on how clean of a guest I was-she said she has never had such an easy clean-up after someone who has stayed for 3 days. She then told me of a story of someone who stayed a few days and used about 4 large towels, one for each shower-I used my same towel the whole time. She sat and talked with me on the porch a bit since she was done cleaning upstairs. After, I texted my mom to let her know, I feel like that is a compliment mothers enjoy hearing. Pheonix and Johnny Appleseed just came up to the porch not realizing who they were at first! Haven't seen them since the Smokies! Seems Pheonix is having similar shin problems as well, they got off for a few days for a wedding and it still is acting up so they are looking for a B&B to relax at. They ended up going with another one around the corner (there is like 4 right around here) but it was still good to see them. After dozing in and out of a nap, Linda came out and asked if I was hungry; now I replied with I can always eat! (But was surprised since I've never been around during lunchtime.) She had told me earlier how she was making a pot of chicken and kale soup and now she was offering me some! Yes please! "Crackers?" She asked-sure! Out came a bowl of lemon kale chicken and rice soup with club crackers. She had said how she didn't care for it but hopes I like it, and had to run to answer the phone. By the time she returned, it was almost gone. I told her how I thought it was really good and she asked if I would like another bowl-since she had a whole pot, I said I would. When she brought me the second bowl she said I sure could eat a whole lot for being so small, I replied with I get that a lot! It's so nice to have homemade HEALTHY food when all I eat is junk packaging on the trail or town food. A treat for sure! Thank you Linda. I had asked Dexter earlier if he would get me 2 tacos while he was at Hey Joes since they were finally open-after Linda offered her soup I had told him nevermind, since I hadn't heard back from him-turns out I was too late. Dexter walked up with a to-go box of two beef tacos as I was on my second bowl of soup. Depending on when my package gets here now I have dinner! How long will tacos keep...hopefully they will be ok. Just living the porch life and a red blazer drives by, then 10 minutes later they pull in-hey I know this woman! It's Mary from Mountain Harbour! She was dropping off a mother and daughter (the ones who are coming to stay today instead of Saturday) so I explained how I had been resting my shin. That was a nice friendly surprise to see her again! Such great people you meet along the way. It wasn't until quarter after 3 when my UPS truck showed up with the package from my mom. Jerry got home and asked Linda if they were adopting me, he also said on his way home the rain was heavy at times. The sky then grew dark and the thunder rolled, shortly after it started to rain. I went inside to call FedEx to have them pickup the two boxes I am sending back home; when Linda proposed she could put me up for the night on the couch free of charge if I wanted. There truely are some nice people down here! I called my mom and asked her what she thought and as soon as I was done telling her the situation she said, did you not read my text? Seems right before I called she had sent: "Does she have room to stay another nite & just head out early tomorrow am?" I did not see it however until after the phone call-freaky! Guess I was meant to stay another night! Another day, and night to rest the body; I am thankful that I don't have to leave town in the rain, try to hike to a shelter nearing dark, and end up pushing myself too hard because of the weather and lack of daylight-tomorrow is a new day. Are ya'll tired of seeing my feet propped up?! Below you can see my nicely packaged tacos that I was going to bring on the trail; instead, I just busted them out for a little snack on the porch! You know you've been in a town too long when the locals ask you about live music and restarunts for other guests...haha again, another night if porch sitting. Linda and Jerry have some friends over they are in playing cards and I am enjoying the relaxing front porch-I don't think I could onw a house without a's getting late so I was thinking of heading in and getting ready for bed and then I saw fireflies! Officially summer. Officially back in the woods tomorrow.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Day 52- With Nothing To Do And Nowhere To Be

I went to bed again around midnight, I kept telling myself I should go to sleep; but then I thought for what? I'm just going to be lounging around all day trying to heal my body that what's it matter. I don't have chores to run, I am just waiting for a package from my mom, and I'll probably have to get lunch at some point-otherwise I am house quarantined, or bed ridden. This mornings breakfast was two fried eggs, home fries, bacon, 3 homemade biscuits, homemade apple butter and apples from the apple trees in the backyard, and orange juice! After eating I sat and talked with Linda and Jerry for awhile about bed and breakfasts and antiques. They said I reminded them of one of their granddaughters, they are looking to sell the house actually to get back to Arizona where their family is. Currently in bed staring at the ceiling...doing nothing makes me tired. So I wasted my time on Facebook and Instagram and made plans to meet Dexter for lunch, Hey Joe's is really annoying me with not being Blue Blaze it is again. This just happened...Dexter got the Mt. Rogers burger...see below-it's a beast! ...and gone! Engineer sat with us for awhile and he and I got a beer while Dexter digested a bit, we talked about my injury and the purple tribe. After hitting up the good 'ol ATM again I ran into Dexter talking to ManBear, seems he had noro or food poisoning and is back in town...I didn't get close. He said he was sick for like 6 hours so I am thinking it was food poisoning since noro is more intense but either way I don't want to roll that roulette wheel. Back at the B&B I touched up Dexter's nails and we are sitting on the front porch me with my leg elevated with ice-it's really hot today so it feels good. I am waiting on Engineer to paint his nail-I wonder if he will find my home. After Dexter left to go back to Woodchuck Hostel-you know when "I don't mean to be too forward" comes out of someone's mouth it's about to get awkward. I feel really bad but there's not much I know how to respond to "I think your really pretty, and you probably get that a lot on the trail." Dude, you don't mean to be forward but I saw you once on the trail for maybe a minute on Saturday, and this is our more formal meet and that's what you come up with? I get it, I'm not the best at taking compliments and I do appreciate the kind words, BUT you for sure meant to be forward with that comment. From there it turned into awkwardness as I chipped away my old polish to re-paint my nails. Engineer ended up taking off after realizing that probably wasn't the way to go about things and now I am peacefully enjoying the front porch of the Inn by myself. After that giant burger Dexter may be spending another night as well so we might meet up later for milkshakes. As for me-I've spent the last 2 hours napping on and off on the front porch, so relaxing listening to the birds chirp, and the woodpecker off in the distance. A nice siesta! I asked Linda where I could get a good milkshake and she suggested the country place but said it would be a bit of a ways, and then offered to drive me! I guess staying so long has it's perks! I appreciated it a lot since it was over across the street from pork bellies and that is a long walk from here. Driving took not even 5 minutes, it's amazing how long it takes to walk places. I offered to get Linda something but she waited in the car for me. There you have it, me walking up to the front door and sitting outside is Engineer with some others hahaha. Inside I got a moose track milkshake and a poweraide. Man is this milkshake good! I Facetimed with Hunter and she seems like she is getting better at it! She's too funny, she was giving the phone kisses and being a busy body. I got to see her crawl and stand up I miss her so much!!! I cut the call a little short when Dexter showed up to hang out with him for a bit, I'll probably try them again later for a little bit. My life on this front porch right now is the definition of living in the south; I have just been relaxing on the white wicker couch while the sun begins to fade and there were even a couple rolls of thunder! I facetimed with Hunter again in the bath, she is so funny she keeps kissing the phone and then would show me how she floats (baby swimming class to teach them if they fall in to just float on their back) I was on house duty from 7-8:30 and once Linda and Jerry returned she heated up my other half of my Philly cheesesteak for dinner and brought me an ice pack. I stayed out until dark, and then decided to take a hot bath to relax my leg muscles, get ready for bed, and now I am laying in bed with the ice pack on my shin listening to Incubus radio on Pandora. Goodnight friends!